GOTY 2022 – #6 Last Call BBS

Many of the games on this list so far have leveraged nostalgic art styles and ideas as a way to evoke certain feelings; Last Call BBS is the first on my list that tries to communicate someone else’s nostalgia to a hypothetical person who may not be old enough (or connected to the right subcultures)…


GOTY 2022 – #7 Tunic

At first glance, Tunic seems like a straightforward adventure game, reminiscent of The Legend of Zelda and the visual stylings of classic computer RPGs. It has a brightly colored art style, with golden sunlight spilling across its tidy isometric angles at a dramatic skew, both cute and somehow eerie. But beyond this exterior, there’s a…


GOTY 2022 – #8 Tinykin

It’s rare to encounter games that can effectively evoke nostalgia while retaining their own identity and still appealing to modern sensibilities. It’s not hard to imagine why: nostalgia is incredibly subjective and personal, and is almost always rosy and exaggerated. One person’s favorite media from their childhood may hold up to them, but that doesn’t…


GOTY 2022 – #9 Sephonie

Sephonie is a narrative-heavy mashup of puzzles and platforming created by Melos Han-Tani and Marina Kitakka, the developer duo behind the beloved Anodyne games (as well as numerous other small works in various media). Their work has a reputation for being avant-garde and sometimes metatextual, consisting of expressionistic art and writing with a distinctive voice….


GOTY 2022 – #10 Marvel Snap

Marvel Snap is a collectible card game in which matches consist of accumulating points at three control nodes over six turns, and deciding a winner from the final tally. It’s clearly designed for mobile, but available on steam as well. It’s also a game that consists almost exclusively of things I dislike: it’s a competitive…


GOTY 2022 – Kickoff

The Year Another year has passed and another GOTY season is reaching its crescendo. In many ways, 2022 has been a year characterized by a fervent desire to return to normalcy in our daily lives. In some ways, this is equally true of gaming culture writ large. Gamers hunger for bigger and bigger titles and…


Game Of The Year 2021

It’s the last day of 2021, and it’s time to finally talk about my game of the year. There’s no one way to choose what makes a game my favorite, and I’ve had a whole bunch of positive and interesting experiences with games of all sort this year. The ones that stood out most this…


GOTY 2021: Best Mechanical Gimmick

Obviously, the crux of what makes a video game a video game is what it’s like to play the game, what makes it interactive. Gameplay often exists for its own sake, but in many cases it’s also a storytelling device just like music, art, sound design, writing, etc. Gameplay design can also play off of…


GOTY 2021: Most Breathtaking Vistas

This is certainly a less abstract category than previous ones. I debated whether or not to include it, because on some level it feels superficial. But I hope that the reasoning behind my choices is justification enough. A refrain that I hear from game critics over the years is that what once impressed them is…


GOTY 2021: Most Interesting Nostalgic Experience

Nostalgia is a hugely important facet of how the games industry operates. Especially in AAA spaces, the creation of increasingly expensive and enormous products — often powered by widespread labor exploitation — relies on constant iteration on known-viable formulas. Games are costly to produce and often demand a lot of time and energy from the…